Sometimes I think it hurts to remind you that it happened

My mother’s father was a short, stubborn Scotsman with eyes so icy-blue they’d make you think of glaciers, or perhaps maybe the moon. His name was James. To most, he was Jimmy. To me, he was Papa.

Whenever I reflect on my childhood–long, harrowing years of growing up in chaos, the daughter of two addicts–Papa is the only constant I can remember. He picked me up from school when my parents were late. … Read the rest

Inhabiting the heaviness

Once upon a time, I lived in Liberia. For almost five years, actually. It was one of the hardest seasons of my life, but I kept going back, kept choosing to say yes. I felt a burden: for the country, for its beautiful people, for the incredible kids I got to work with, many of whom became daughters and sons of my heart. And then one day, I left. In part because the burden became … Read the rest

Lost and found

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I first wrote this post back in 2013 and have updated it over the years. There are so many women whose stories I am drawn to in the scriptures, but one I continually find my way back to is that of Ruth. I hope as you read these words and explore her story, you will find hope, as I have. What has been lost will be found. I know some of us may not believe … Read the rest

Mental illness and the God with skin on

I remember the night I realized something was wrong.

The house was quiet, both my husband and my son sleeping deeply. It was about 4:30 am, and I was shaking in bed, crying hysterically into my pillow. I’d been tossing and turning for almost six hours and hadn’t been able to sleep because I couldn’t turn my brain off, even though I was thoroughly, way-down-in-my-bones exhausted. I woke my husband up, and he simply … Read the rest

Shame, seatbelts, and shrinking women

The sun was just starting to rise as I walked down a narrow runway to board my first flight. My eyes were bleary from too little sleep and not enough caffeine, a combination of my seven-month-old having woken up at 2:30 in the morning and needing to leave for the airport by 4. In the weak morning light, I swung my green carry-on bag over my shoulder and made my way towards the plane headed … Read the rest

for such a time as this

Scrolling Facebook this morning, I came across the following quote as a friend’s status:

From Dave Pell (not-Christian): Religious Christians have hitched their wagon to an unrepentant heathen like Trump, proving that power dwarfs all other belief systems.
#tearswecannotstop #saveyourwitness

//

Talk about a punch in the gut. As I later commented, “This quote is staying with me this morning. It’s heavy and hurtful, because I fear that right now, the Church as a whole … Read the rest

there are no strangers here

I come from a lineage of immigrants.

My father and his family left their home in Udine, a town in the northeastern corner of Italy, and made their way to Canada. My mother, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, settled in Canada as well, with her parents and younger sister, when she was only a few years old. I was a first-generation Canadian citizen, born to two naturalized parents.

I myself am an immigrant.

With a … Read the rest

one word 2017: querencia

i am not the type of woman who does well with new year’s resolutions. i’m great at setting them, sure, but at the first bump in the road, the very inkling of the wheels about to come off, i throw in the towel. i think it’s got something to do with my perfectionism, or perhaps my fear of failure. you know those people who hurt others before others have a chance to hurt them? that’s Read the rest

2016 (the year of plenty) in review

It should come as no surprise that 2016 was one heck of a year. From a tense election season to international conflicts, these 12 months have made headlines in so many ways. Personally, it was a big year for me and my little family as well. It was a year of changes and new beginnings, a year in which I did hard things, sacred things, beautiful things. And in the interest of living openly, … Read the rest

the story of a branch

attention, people of the internet; let’s do REALTALK for a moment or two here, okay? pour yourself a drink, settle in for a little bit, and stay with me here. i may not know much about some things, but i’ve learned a lot about knowing people, and something tells me i’m not the only one who’s been feeling this way lately.

i’m weary, y’all. weary of these false connections forged over computers, of the … Read the rest